ENVIRONMENT

NEMA cracks down on NYTIL factory for discharging waste into River Nile

NEMA staff inspect an Effluent Treatment Plant at Nyanza Textile Industries Limited in Jinja on Wednesday (PHOTO/Courtesy)

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has halted all activities at Nyanza Textile Industries Limited (NYTIL) that generate wastewater.

The suspension follows an inspection of the facility in Jinja, after a public outcry on social media over alleged contamination of the River Nile by the facility.

A team of environmental inspectors was dispatched to the site on January 5, 2022, and discovered that there was a blockage at the facility’s Effluent Treatment Plant that caused industrial wastewater to overflow into a stormwater drainage channel and subsequently into River Nile.

“We have picked samples from the river for laboratory analysis to inform the way forward,” NEMA said in a statement.

“In order to prevent further pollution of the river, all activities at NYTIL that generate industrial wastewater have been suspended by NEMA until an effective Effluent Treatment Plant has been designed and operationalized, to handle all the effluent generated at the facility, to the satisfaction of NEMA.”

“This is in line with the provisions of the National Environment Act No. 5, 2019 and the National Environment (Standards for Discharge of Effluent into Water or Land) Regulations, 2020,” they said.

According to NEMA, unregulated discharge of industrial wastewater is a public health hazard and has deleterious impacts on the environment, including loss of aquatic biodiversity, contamination of food chains, compromising the quality of usable water, especially for downstream users.

“We thank the public for being vigilant and urge citizens to continue reporting environmental breaches and incidents within our communities. Together, we shall ensure sustainable socio-economic transformation of our nation,” NEMA said.

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